Beet & Parsnip Salad

Chef TQ's Quarantine Cooking

March 2020 | Links In Bio

Beet & Parsnip Salad

Parsnips are an underutilized ingredient in the kitchen, and the secret weapon of this dish is the parsnip honey that you’ll make. It’s a great glaze for meats, grilled veggies, or as we use it in this salad, as a glaze for the parsnips themselves.

Makes 4 portions:

  • 2 Medium Sized Roasted Beets, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, covered in the oven until tender, then cooled and peeled
  • 2 Large Parsnips, simmered in equal parts of milk and water to cover until tender, then cooled and peeled
  • Aged White Cheddar, peeled with a veggie peeler (We use Prairie Breeze)
  • 1 head Red Leaf Lettuce, stems removed, leaves separated and washed
  • 1 head Butter Lettuce, stems removed, leaves separated and washed
  • 3 stalks of Celery, each cut in half and shaved thin on a mandoline, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
  • Candied Pecans
  • Lemon Poppy Dressing (see recipe!)
  • Parsnip Honey (see recipe!)
  • Fines Herbs (any combination of parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon)

Make the Parsnip Honey – it’s worth it to make a large batch! This recipe will produce right around 2 C of total “honey.” You can also do this with another vegetable of your choice. If you’d like to purchase beet juice from the grocery store, or carrot juice, you may substitute for the liquid volume of the parsnip juice.

  • 2# Parsnips à you should have about 2 C liquid.
  • 2 Lemons, Juiced and Zested
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ¾ C Sugar
  • 1 C Glucose Syrup (you can substitute light corn syrup if necessary)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Using a juicer, juice the parsnips. Combine parsnip juice, juice & zest of both lemons, salt and bay leaves in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, strain through a chinois, or you can use cheesecloth, or a coffee filter as well.

You should have about 2 C.

Combine all ingredients, simmer over low flame until liquid is a light syrup texture, 8-10 minutes. Do not allow the liquid to color very much – the final color should resemble the color of the vegetable juice being used without any caramelization.

Allow to cool at room temperature and adjust seasoning with salt and/or lemon juice. Once cool, texture should be like honey and cling to a spoon.

Make the Lemon Poppy Dressing combine the following a in blender:

  • 140 mL Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • ½ small white Onion

Blend on low to combine, then finish on high, until a creamy white base forms. Then turn machine on lowest setting, and add:

  • 1 egg (this is optional but will give you better viscosity)

Turn machine slightly higher and slowly stream in

  • 460 mL neutral flavored oil (Grapeseed or Sunflower)

Take your time with this part, you don’t want the dressing to separate by adding too quickly!

  • Juice from 1 Lemon

Turn machine to high and blend for a few more seconds to ensure everything is incorporated. Then turn the machine off.

Transfer your dressing to a bowl, then add:

  • 5 Tbsp Poppy Seeds

Stir well with a spoon, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before use. The poppies will expand slightly. Stir the dressing before adding to the salad.


Now that our two key sauces are prepared, the salad is easy to assemble.

Slice the beets, seasoning each with lemon, olive oil and salt.

Slice the parsnips, season with salt, then, using a pastry brush, brush each parsnip with the Parsnip Honey.

For the lettuces, separate whole leaves and prepare as desired, or simply leave them in their full size. On a cookie sheet, spread the lettuces out and lightly dress with the Lemon Poppy Dressing.

Gather your four plates, and start by adding 3-4 parsnip slices to the bottom of each. Arrange lettuce on top of the parsnips, then add sliced beets and the shaved celery. Add the candied pecans and a few more leaves of lettuce, but not too many to cover what’s beneath. Garnish with the cheddar shavings, the picked herbs, and more of any of the other ingredients that you desire. Finally, drizzle a bit more dressing on top of the salad, and a bit of the honey on the plate.


Making It Happen

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